Hip Hop

McDonald’s Denies Using Travis Scott Collab To Distract Discrimination Lawsuits

McDonald’s is denying partnering with Travis Scott to win over the black community amidst racial discrimination lawsuits.

If you’ve swung by McDonald’s lately, you might have noticed that they have added a new “Travis Scott Meal” to their menu. The limited-time collaboration with the hip-hop giant was announced in September following a series of lawsuits filed against the restaurant by African American franchise owners and executives. The fast-food chain also recently partnered with Hispanic rapper J. Balvin which fueled the suspicion that they’re only looking to diversify affiliates in an effort to repair their tainted reputation with people of color.

McDonald’s has vehemently denied that their new collabs are in any way a strategy to absolve them of any discrimination accusations. In a statement to XXL Magazine, a rep for McDonald’s USA said, “Any claim that McDonald’s collaboration with Travis Scott was launched in response to recent litigation is completely false. We teamed up with Travis—and our newest celebrity partner, J Balvin—because of their love for the McDonald’s brand, their widespread appeal and their loyal following among our younger customers and our crew.”

The rep continued, “In regards to the litigation—these allegations fly in the face of everything we stand for as an organization and as a partner to communities and small business owners around the world. Not only do we categorically deny the allegations, but we are confident that the facts will show how committed we are to the diversity and equal opportunity of the McDonald’s System, including across our franchisees, suppliers and employees.”

McDonald’s had multiple lawsuits drawn against them this year, the first of which alleged that the company “conducted a ruthless purge” of their African American leadership and cultivated a “hostile and abusive work environment” for Black franchise owners and executives. Following that suit in January was another that alleged that they had been subjected to “systematic and covert racial discrimination” since the ’80s, according to The Washington Post.

University of Sydney lecturer, Chin Jou also said in a recent Washington Post article that “McDonald’s should be in the doghouse when it comes to African Americans right now,” and that “This Travis Scott juggernaut has been so successful at obfuscating other McDonald’s-related news items.” He explained the irony of how the company has allegedly had a history of using consumers of color while sabotaging employees of color over the years.

Travis Scott is yet to acknowledge the controversy and will likely avoid doing so, seeing as it is a legal matter. Do you think McDonald’s is using people of color to save face with those consumers?